The irony is perhaps lost on the Obama faithful who still think the Hope & Change is just around the corner, if we just wait long enough and give Sir Change-a-Lot a chance to show how he’s really different than any other bought-and-paid for politician. But the fact that Obama is now faced with replacing the most liberal judge on the SCOTUS does give him a chance to make his mark — for the better, or worse. As it is, Stevens barely balances out reactionary, medieval pricks like Roberts, Alito and Scalia, so the choice of his replacement really will determine the ideological bent of the Court for, perhaps, decades to come. If Obama doesn’t have the courage to appoint someone of Stevens’ caliber, then he will in effect have facilitated a further lurch towards the right.
Obama? Courage? Please. He couldn’t even sack up to defend his appointment of Dawn Johnsen to head the OLC. Some say it was because he was afraid the Republicans might call him names, others more cynical commenters speculated that Johnsen’s vociferous objections to Bush’s policies of torture, unwarranted eavesdropping etc. run counter to the Obama adminstration’s apparent desire to continue (and expand) all those practices, so the surprise was not so much that he dropped her like a hot potato, but rather, the fact that he even bothered to feign interest in a dirty ‘effin hippie like her in the first place.
And so Obama’s total inability to defend “looney lefty” things like the Constitution and civil rights appears destined to manifest itself yet again when he makes his choice for Stevens’ seat. As Bloomberg points out today, “Obama Shuns the Left as White House Mulls U.S. High Court Slot.” Pretty much says it all. It’ll be the Lieberman wing of the Democratic base (i.e. neo-cons who just haven’t been invited to hang out with the cool kids in Eric Cantor’s club house, but really want to join) that gets to appoint this one, and it’ll no doubt be someone with the moral integrity of a repentant child molester by the time Obama has compromised with the Blue Dogs and the Republicans, who by now have realized that when they say ‘jump,’ Obama doens’t ask ‘how high,’ he’s already made the leap quite voluntarily.
Why, by the time he’s done, he’ll sure have Changed things for good: Roe v. Wade may be history, all our endless wars ticking along, the 4th Amendment revoked, “clean coal” and offshore drilling destroying what’s left of our surroundings, while gays and other “undesirables” further marginalized, while the American Taliban will be firmly entrenched at all levels of Government with little chance of opposition. And by the time Obama abandons the sinking ship to whatever golem Sarah Palin and the mouthbreathers conjure up for 2012 it’ll be time for the middle class to start paying the increased premiums to Blue Cross/Blue Shield and friends as they commence the officially sanctioned plunder of tax payers under the guise of “health care reform.”